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The Power of People Post-Sandy

Wow. I am so humbled, thankful and excited. It is really easy to take things for granted that are extremely important. I am thrilled to go to work today without having to worrying about getting home in time to refuel the generator or wondering how long I’ll spend in line getting gas to keep the…

Wow. I am so humbled, thankful and excited. It is really easy to take things for granted that are extremely important. I am thrilled to go to work today without having to worrying about getting home in time to refuel the generator or wondering how long I’ll spend in line getting gas to keep the house lit.

As everyone knows the NY metro area has been hit hard by a devastating storm that has severely hurt countless people and families across the NY metro area. Until tonight, my house has been without power. Our twins turned three on Monday and our youngest will be two next month. The last two weeks have been really challenging. I say this humbly, truly appreciating how fortunate I and my love ones are that no one was hurt and the damage to our homes is only cosmetic, many families are not so fortunate.

Wednesday was my first day in the office since 11/2 (up until then Sandy had knocked out our Internet connection at IACQ NYC). On that first day back, I left the office early to be home before it got dark and managed to arrive at our house in the middle of a Nor’easter that plopped five inches of snow in our area. If so many people weren’t suffering, you’d have to smile and shake your head at just how crazy the weather has been (hurricane, snow storm, low 50s and beautiful tody). On Thursday, I woke up, started the generator and shoveled some snow (tremendous thanks to my cousin Vanessa for lending us her generator and to my wife’s Uncle John for commandeering coveted people and parts to make it power our house).

Personally, the last two weeks have been a tight rope. We were really scared on Monday night when the storm hit. The wind was ripping hard, wreaking havoc across the northeast and dropping three trees in our yard alone. People in our area had trees fall on their houses and cars. Not far from us tragedy really struck, destroying houses and taking lives. I say this after seeing things first hand (no injuries fortunately) and hearing about them from others. We haven’t had TV and couldn’t see coverage of people really hurt in areas like Staten Island, Long Beach, the Rockaways, Lower Manhattan, Breezy Point and the Jersey Shore. It’s sad and unbelievable.

In spite of the unrest around us, the iAcquire team has done its best to maintain business as usual. Our team has shown tremendous composure and care for one another. I am truly proud.

Speaking of teams, I witnessed people from across America show up at my house and restore a vital luxury that we so easily take for granted, electricity. I’m not sure who was more excited to see people in our yard, my wife and I, or the kids. For the kids, watching the crew drive miniature tractors and raise power lines was real entertainment (no TV hasn’t been bad at all). For Tricia and me it was the sign that relief was coming. We were more excited than the kids.

On Wednesday, LIPA scoped out the job, guys from a crew in MI told Tricia they couldn’t live in a place like ours. The houses are too close together according to them. Funny to hear different perspectives on things like that.

On Thursday, a guy worked in our yard that was flown in from San Diego. He walked through the snow like it was toxic waste. That was really funny. He did say, “Don’t hold me to this, but power should be back within 72 hours.” I am not ashamed to say that I wanted to hug and kiss the man at that moment.

Later in the night a crew member knocked on our door, he was really nervous and apologetic. He told me the previous estimate was not going to happen because Wednesday’s storm created damage that wasn’t accounted for when they did the initial assessment. I really felt for him, what a crappy message to have to deliver. I understand how demanding people must be of LIPA crews right now and that they use them as their outlet for being frustrated about not having power. On top of that it is getting really cold, my neighbor across the street told me it was 47 degrees in his house when he woke up.

Long story short, the gentlemen who knocked on our door said they would be back today and at that point we’d have power. He was afraid to report this and entirely unaware that San Diego already set expectations for 72 hours (ironic that it took someone from out of state to “under promise and over deliver”).

Our wait was trimmed from 3 days to 1. For the second time in the day (and my life overall), I wanted to hug and kiss a complete stranger. I did my best to express my appreciation without making it weird. These guys are working hard. They’ve got a huge job and mostly get complaints in return. I don’t think they deserve it based on my experience, LIPA as a company has done an awful job communicating what’s happening. The crews on the street bear the brunt of that. It is a future lesson for crisis communication.

After receiving this amazing news I was really floored when someone knocked on my door an hour later to tell me “I just wanted to let you know, you can shut your generator off.” Now this guy I really wanted to lift off the ground with a hug you might see a new groom give his bride (although he was about 6’2” 230lbs, I could have done it). Before the crew called it a day, two more guys knocked on the door to ensure I knew power was restored. Amazing.

Although my wife and I didn’t complain, we were really pushed by the hardship of not having power. I can’t begin to imagine what those who are really affected are experiencing.

I wrote this post to give some perspective to our out-of-state customers for what things have been like at IACQ NYC and in our area the past two weeks. We really appreciate your patience and understanding. With that being said, our team has responded like champions. Thank you IACQ NYC for doing your best and making due amongst very difficult circumstances.

I also wrote this as a platform to thank the people who are working tirelessly to restore power across the North East. Yeah, they are getting paid and probably making over time at that. But none the less these guys are working non-stop. Many of them have traveled thousands of miles and left their families to be here. Lots of local crews don’t have power themselves and have damage to their own homes. In addition to the crazy hours, working in people’s yards that are really upset and frustrated is an occupational hazard they didn’t sign up for. Thank you for the hard work.

Lastly, iAcquire wants to do something for those who’ve been hurt. This post is to announce that we are putting together volunteer efforts to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Please stay tuned to our blog this week for an announcement on how you can help. iAcquire humbly requests the assistance of our team, customers and the search industry overall in support of this cause. Thanks in advance for your patience reading this post and any charity you can afford to lend in support of those who don’t have power tonight, a home or worse.

Thanks,

IACQ

  • http://twitter.com/uzilala Amy Ouzoonian

    Thanks so much for the update. What charities would you recommend donating to?